The Hot-Bodies/GRP 1/12th scale team continued their impressive start to the season, with 3 cars in the A final on both days of round 2 of the BRCA nationals at Chippenham.
This meeting saw the Chippenham club return to the national calendar after a break from the nationals last year. With new carpet and an excellent venue, this promised to be a great event. The organisers had designed a demanding layout, which would test the skills of even the best drivers. Added features such as a wall mounted scoreboard made life easier for the drivers, and helped the meeting run very smoothly and on time over the weekend.
Saturday – 19t
As usual all the drivers had 19 turn motors fitted for Saturdays racing, and the first thing that became apparent was the large bump in one corner of the track. Following the bump was a sharp hairpin, so hitting the bump wrong would result in running wide or being nose into the barrier.
At this event there were more drivers using the new Hot Bodies Reynard body shell. The general consensus is that it has less initial bite than the Parma Zytek (the shell of choice for the past few years). This less aggressive and safer feel makes the Hot Bodies shell well suited for fast sections of a track, whilst still being good in the twisty bits.
Top Hot Bodies qualifier was Mick Farrell in 4th place, Andy Griffiths was next up in 5th after having a troubled qualifying session by his standards. Mark Stiles qualified from heat 7, and lined up 7th on the grid for the A final, a respectable effort with nobody to pace himself against on his best qualifying run. A special mention goes to Nigel Hale, who proved he can still cut it after over 25 years racing in the class. He qualified 10th using GRP tyres – his first national A final for a year – well done Nigel!
The final itself was a real spectacle, and one of the best A final races for a while at a 12th scale national. The lead changed several times throughout the race, and the top 8 cars remained on the lead lap for the entire 8 minutes. At the 6 minute mark, the top 5 cars were separated by around 2 seconds; they were all on the straight at the same time! Mark Stiles wasn’t far behind either; he was running 6th, about 2 seconds off the lead pack, and closing. Andy Griffiths’ race didn’t pan out as he might have hoped, and he crossed the finish line in 4th place. Mark Stiles benefited from Russ Williams’ crash on the very last lap to snatch 5th place, while Mick finished 7th.
Sunday – Modified
Sunday saw motor changes for most drivers, with most fitting brushless systems to race with in the open modified class. The sportsman’s class attracted a healthy entry again, with 20 drivers competing in the class for brushed motors with a minimum of 12 turns.
Mark Stiles tried a 4.5 turn motor in practice, but was unable to use all the power he had available, so switched back to a 5.5 like the rest of the team for the rest of the day.
Andy Griffiths was back to his best in qualifying, comfortably taking TQ, and with it pole position in the A final. Mark Stiles had a decent run to line up 5th, with Mick Farrell right behind him in 6th.
There were one or two crashes at the start of the A final, and Andy Griffiths was bumped down the order on lap 1. This allowed Matt White into the lead, and he was chased by Russ Williams and the Cyclone 12 of Mark Stiles. A mistake from Russ allowed Mark into second place, and he then began to catch Matt White who was still leading. At about half distance, Mark was right on Matt’s rear bumper and was looking to make a move. Unfortunately Mark clipped a track marker and rolled. This allowed Russ to pass along with a recovering Andy Griffiths, so dropped Mark down to 4th. Andy and Mark both made their way past Russ with a couple of minutes to go, and at this stage it looked to be a 3 horse race for the win. Andy put the hammer down and caught Matt, passing him and going on to take his second win of the season – an excellent recovery after a bad start. Mark also caught Matt, but couldn’t quite get past before the end, so he had to settle for 3rd. Mick had a less eventful race to finish 7th.
Source : Mirage Racing